Last weekend, while in Los Angeles, my world was completely rocked. Do you know that moment in your life when you learn about something and you just. can’t stop. thinking about. IT?
Like when you meet a cute guy at an urban bible college in New Orleans and one of the first things he tells you is that he thinks you’re beautiful and you just. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About him. Eventually you’d marry him (during Mardi Gras) and start a life inviting kids around your table for fried chicken and praying for scared families after drive-by shootings.
Or like when you see for the first time children living in abject poverty in a housing development in New Orleans, in the wealthiest country in the world. And you. Just. Can’t. Stop. Thinking. About how these babies need to know they are loved by Jesus and you! Eventually you’d give in and acknowledge that God’s called you to minister to inner city kids and not get a degree to practice law.
Or like when you decide to gaze deeply into global poverty and your find a company that’ll give you the resources and training to advocate for vulnerable people in developing countries by creating a marketplace for their gorgeous jewelry and accessories. You just. Can’t. Stop. sharing their stories and adding pieces of redemption to your shopping cart. Eventually you’d become a Noonday Ambassador.
Or like when you’re standing in a foyer of a theater center in downtown LA and an energetic, loving man with weathered skin and a warm smile tells you about a woman who throws elaborate birthday parties for homeless kids in a mission through a ministry called, “Worthy of Love” and You. Just. Can’t. Stop. Thinking, OhMyGoodLordINeedToThrowAPartyWithThisWoman!!!!!!!
Yeah ,this is my life.
So, when I got home from LA, having my world rocked and completely intrigued by this woman whom they call, Sista Mary. I checked out her site and y’all when I saw what she does, I bawled. I mean, there was snot involved and big tears and a few hiccups. My daughter came into the living room, saw me a hot mess and asked, “mama…can I have a glass of juice?” and I was all like, “these babies….these babies…need birthday parties…and hugs…and gifts…and….and….I wanna throw a birthday party!?!?” and she was like, “Um…I’ll come back for that juice.”
Whatever man, we’re still working on consistent compassion.
So, what do you do when your world is rocked and you’re snotty crying, and you’ve got this little corner of the internet to raise awareness on how we can seek shalom for our cities?
Feature this amazing ministry and women leading it, of course.
Did y’all catch that? “Skiddy Cat” is a mascot bringing joy to kids on Skid Row. Skiddy Cat…Skid Row….
Y’all! That’s classic swords to plowshares, beauty from ashes, subversive upside-down kingdom thinking. Taking something that’s meant to communicate hopelessness, darkness, and loneliness and creating a beacon of happiness, light, and community?!?! So, Jesus. So good.
Do y’all wanna see what had me crying? Are you sure?
First go make sure the kids have juice and you have tissues…
Ready for your world to be rocked? Very well. Let the rocking begin!
See what I mean? How can we live in a country with such wealth and resource and there are children in need like this? I love that part where they applaud the kids, not for what they have done or what they will do but because of who they are that very moment. Kinda feels like Jesus, right? Kinda feels like him taking on human flesh just so he can hold us, touch us, applaud us and then die for us. Completely beautiful, right?
So…what should we as Agents of Shalom, followers of this generous Savior, resource-rich people who probably haven’t cracked into our Christmas budget yet, do?
I think we should give to Worthy of Love!
I emailed Mary Davis last night and got a few specifics:
How much do you need for each party?
Usually we need $900 for everything but in December we need $5000 to get each child a tablet.
How many kids usually come to the parties?
There has been a dramatic increase in homelessness lately. In August we had our largest party; there were 110 kids in the shelter. Tomorrow there will be 62 kids. This is not including the parents that come as well. Last November we only had 17 kids. Our parties use to be in the Family Room but have gotten so large that we have to go on the roof to accommodate. It is heart breaking to see how many children are without a home this Holiday Season.
Y’all…we’re about 300 deep on this blog, if you’re reading this and someone forwarded then we’re probably more. In one day, this tiny blog had as many as 2000 views! If each of us gave $10 today to “Worthy of Love” Sista Mary will have the resources she needs to look those babies in their eyes and tell them, “You are loved. Your life is important. You deserved to be celebrated. You are worthy of Love.”
And really, Shalom Sistas, isn’t that what it’s about? Isn’t that God’s Shalom for us? Isn’t His wholeness fully grasping how wide, high, deep, and immeasurable is His love for us?
I may never make it to LA again, but as we know, geography doesn’t indicate fidelity, right. This amazing Kingdom woman is pushing back the darkness in LA so let’s help her out.
Now, for the a little surprise for you, my Shalom-y Readers:
This opportunity to practice Shalom has come at a really good time because I’ve been working on an Advent Devotional for the blog. In thinking about how I want center this holiday season on Jesus, I’m writing an Advent family devotional centered around the themes of light, darkness, and seeking shalom during this holiday season. It’ll include craft ideas, daily readings for the fam, ideas to serve, and how to do your very own Christmas morning pancake delivery (a Moore family tradition).
Instead of using it as a blog series, I’m going to give it anyone who gives $15 or more to Worthy of Love. Give before Wednesday, Nov. 25th and you will receive this devotional as a free download on Thanksgiving Day–plenty of time to prepare for the first Sunday of Advent. It won’t be available on the blog as a download this holiday season, so what are you waiting for…go give and get ready to point your babies to the Jesus, the true light of the World.
****Make sure you go to the gofundme page, give $15 (or more), and come back here and comment. The name you give under and the name you comment with MUST MATCH for my verification process. Also, I’ll need your email to include you on the mail chimp letter with the download link, so make sure when you comment you use an active email.****
Let’s love bomb Worthy of Love like crazy, ok?
Seeking Shalom for the Kids On Skid Row,